Shawn Levy realised Taika Waititi could be Free Guy villain on FaceTime
Shawn Levy realised that Taika Waititi was the ideal villain for 'Free Guy' over a FaceTime call.
The 53-year-old director has helmed the new sci-fi action comedy flick which features Taika as antagonist Antwan and confessed that he didn't know about the 'Jojo Rabbit' director's acting skills beforehand.
Shawn told Variety: "I first spoke to Taika over FaceTime. I didn't know him. I knew he was that guy in 'Green Lantern' with Ryan (Reynolds). I had seen 'Thor: Ragnarok' and at that point, 'Hunt for the Wilderpeople', so I knew him as a filmmaker."
The director continued: "During that FaceTime, he must have changed positions in his office 30 times in under 30 minutes; lounging backward or upside down on his couch, dancing on his feet, sitting cross-legged an Zen-like in the middle of the floor.
"I realise that is a true unicorn of a personality and how perfect for the villain in the movie. Taika is such a unique, idiosyncratic and delightful individual and he brings all of that, and I have gave him a lot of leash to run with it as Antwan."
Shawn also revealed that Joe Keery wasn't in mind for the role of programmer Keys but was pleased that he got to show his acting ability away from the part of Steve Harrington in 'Stranger Things' - a show that Shawn has directed episodes of.
The 'Night At The Museum' filmmaker said: "He was not at all who we were picturing for the role. But from his very first audition, I knew he was probably going to get it. He killed it, and it was like this anti-Steve Harrington.
"Joe in real life is incredibly smart, verbal and passionate and kinetic. He brought all of that to the character.
"I love that people are going to see Joe do more of what he can do, and he's exceptional as Steve Harrington on 'Stranger Things', but that's just the tip of the iceberg with this kid."